International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research

IACR News item: 08 December 2023

Anja Lehmann, Cavit Özbay
ePrint Report ePrint Report
Multi-signatures allow to combine individual signatures from different signers on the same message into a short aggregated signature. Newer schemes further allow to aggregate the individual public keys, such that the combined signature gets verified against a short aggregated key. This makes them a versatile alternative to threshold or distributed signatures: the aggregated key can serve as group key, and signatures under that key can only be computed with the help of all signers. What makes multi-signatures even more attractive is their simple key management, as users can re-use the same secret key in several and ad-hoc formed groups. In that context, it will be desirable to not sacrifice privacy as soon as keys get re-used and ensure that users are not linkable across groups. In fact, when multi-signatures with key aggregation were proposed, it was claimed that aggregated keys hide the signers' identities or even the fact that it is a combined key at all. In our work, we show that none of the existing multi-signature schemes provide these privacy guarantees when keys get re-used in multiple groups. This is due to the fact that all known schemes deploy deterministic key aggregation. To overcome this limitation, we propose a new variant of multi-signatures with probabilistic yet verifiable key aggregation. We formally define the desirable privacy and unforgeability properties in the presence of key re-use. This also requires to adapt the unforgeability model to the group setting, and ensure that key-reuse does not weaken the expected guarantees. We present a simple BLS-based scheme that securely realizes our strong privacy and security guarantees. We also formalize and investigate the privacy that is possible by deterministic schemes, and prove that existing schemes provide the advertised privacy features as long as one public key remains secret.

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